A Little Bibliomancy Today: On Choosing Guests for Your Feast

The messages in tarot cards can be read everywhere, not just in the cards. So today, a little bibliomancy: I opened my Jerusalem Bible at random and found the following passage (Luke 14: 12-14):

Then he said to his host, “When you give a lunch or a dinner, do not ask your friends, brothers, relations or rich neighbors, for fear they repay your courtesy by inviting  you in return. No, when you have a party, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind; that they cannot pay you back means that you are fortunate, because repayment will be made to you when the virtuous rise again.”

This passage may mean all sorts of things to you in your life today. But to me, it speaks of the question of choosing who we offer our work to, and whether we work for the sake of our work itself, for the sake of making an offering to others, or for the sake of earning an income. Of course, earning an income is necessary so that we can care for our families. However, I can think of many people I know who do their best work free or, in the case of writers, “on speculation.” In some sense, the question of abundance that a lot of spiritual people like to talk about is much like planting seeds — we are generous with our time and skills, and hope that in the course of time, just as we’re there for others when they need us, others will be there for us when we need them. It’s like a spiritual 401k plan!

More pragmatically, though, I see this passage as a forecast for our economy. In the course of time, we might operate less on money and more in terms of barter, favors, and simply doing good for others because they need it. When times are hard, that’s when we discover how much we already have that we weren’t even aware of — that’s when we realize that we can, in fact, band together and do things for each other without money having to enter into it. When we begin to realize the radical implications of this idea, that’s when our economy will really begin to transform — into something new that we may not recognize as any money system we’ve ever encountered before.

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